Padraig Timoney uses a variety of media and materials in his work, including paintings, photographs and installation. He is intrigued by the way meaning is constructed in and through art but also shows a particular interest in the assimilation of images by the human mind, a process which takes place in three recording degrees: the moment in which we perceive the image, the one in which we fix it in our mind and finally the moment the image becomes part of our memory. The artist tries to translate this multilayered information, through different techniques and languages, into a meaningful work of art. By using various techniques and languages that are all imbedded in the history of art, Timoney does not want to demonstrate a supposed visual eclecticism. He rather wants to confirm how the different parts of the microen macrocosm in which we are living, are an integral part of the contemporaneity of a work of art. Looking at his work is, therefore, not a passive act but an examination of our own linguistic and visual skills.
The painting Sick Fig is related to a journey to the South of France and the Provence the artist made. It represents a bush he came about along the way, which he describes as ‘an exemplary diagram of rotundity and volume, intershot with light, contour and colour in war and peace’. Taped-up Tripswitch, looks sideways at an old safety fuse. An adhesive tape is attached to the handle in order to keep it upwards and prevent the fuse from blowing: an overridden safety measure. Padraig Timoney refers to the painting as ‘a withheld state of change from Northern light to Southern light, a blocked ionic charge or issue of energy that could produce a light in the dark’. The tension in the painting represents for him ‘an imaginary corrosive situation, which endures as long as it is necessary’. Untitled (Visiter) is painted with a readymade, large tool that remains attached to the surface of the painting. The work is a polishing, a refreshing, an all over visitation of the surface which carries and coincides with the specific mark of the used tool. The painting is tensed ‘because it is a finished possibility, all is used up in it, all is as it was’.
Padraig Timoney was born in Derry, Northern Ireland, in 1968. He studied at St Martin’s School of Art and Goldsmiths College in London. He currently lives and works in Naples, Italy. In 2007, he did two solo exhibitions in New York: Andrew Kreps Gallery and White Columns. In the same year he also had two European solo exhibitions : Raucci/Santamaria Gallery, Naples and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels. This year (2008) he did an important solo show in the Modern Institute in Glasgow.Tim Rollins and K.O.S.
The artists will be showing new drawings, photographs and paintings on canvas and paper.
Tim Rollins and K.O.S. started working together in 1984 after meeting during workshops Rollins gave to Latino high school students from the South Bronx. The K.O.S. (Kids Of Survival) come from a difficult social and economic background. Their working method is to study important literary works together, such as Shakespeare, Kafka or Aristophanes, and then the K.O.S. transfer their visual associations onto paper. Tim Rollins and K.O.S. work with a wide range of media. They have established a reputation in the art world with their collages of pages of text or musical scores, chosen by Rollins, over which K.O.S. members then apply words, images or prints. The result is a forceful representation of text and image. The artists employ a minimal and imaginative visual language. Literary and historical-social motives create dialogues in their work with artistic themes like dehumanisation and collectivity.
The exhibition at Xavier Hufkens comprises new works on canvas including Invisible Man (after Ralph Ellison) and By Any Means Necessary (after Malcolm X) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (after Shakespeare and Mendelssohn) and new works on paper from the series Study for the Metamorphosen (after R. Strauss). These works resonate with references to individual spiritual metamorphoses and social change. The letters IM on the Invisible Man piece refer simultaneously to the book of Ellison, to the biblical ‘I’m the Lord your God…’, to the last letters of ‘victim’ and to the first letters of Martin Luther King’s speech ‘I’m a man’. The Pinocchio (after Carlo Collodi) sculpture speaks of the pedagogical relationship between Rollins and K.O.S. This work from 1992 is adorned by a replica of the eyes of one of the members of the K.O.S.
The work of Tim Rollins and K.O.S. combines general and individual experiences in a communal and democratic manner. It strikes a bridge between art, history and spirituality that makes sense. By connecting these fields a greater understanding is reached of visual culture and of the possibilities of contemporary, socially engaged art.
Recent solo exhibitions of Tim Rollins and K.O.S. were held at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, the National Academy of Science in Washington and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Atlanta. The artists also participated at the Whitney Biennale 2006. The work of Tim Rollins and K.O.S. has been included in the collections of more than eighty museums, including the MoMA in New York, the Art Institute in Chicago and the Tate Gallery in London. A solo exhibition is planned at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle in 2010.
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